Welcome to the University of the Free State (UFS)


Welcome to the UFS! It is exciting that you have chosen to study here, and we trust that you will have an academically fulfilling experience at our university.


UFS is a research-led, student-centred and regionally engaged university that contributes to development and social justice through the production of globally competitive graduates and knowledge.


Internationalisation is very important to our university. The UFS provides an excellent experience to international students. Dedicated support is provided by the Office for International Affairs, which serves as the first port of call for all international students at the UFS. We have developed a range of Internationalisation-at-home activities, including our Umoja Buddy Programme, which integrates local and international students.


We value the contribution of our international students to intellectual diversity at the UFS. We value the contribution that our international students make to intellectual diversity at our university, and we actively promote opportunities to engage with local students from the UFS. The intellectual cross- fertilisation between students from different backgrounds provides opportunities for the acquisition of international and intercultural competencies by all students, and results in enhanced employability of our graduates.


International Mother Language Day 2021

The Office for International Affairs recently celebrated International Mother Tongue Day. This year, we invited all faculties to submit the names of people who would be willing to contribute video clips to educate us about their mother tongue. The videos submitted were from diverse academic staff members and postdoctoral fellows currently based in different parts of the world. Extensive research has created this edutainment video, featuring famous language quotes, indigenous languages across the African continent, and business languages used across the African continent. Some of the indigenous languages on the African continent are fading away, caused by colonial influence.

Fun facts:

From 1994 to 2013, South Africa was in the Guinness Book of World Records for most official languages.  These are Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Sepedi, Sesotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu.

Since the adoption of the 2013 Constitution, Zimbabwe now holds this title with 16 official languages, namely Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, Sign Language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa. Zimbabwe therefore now holds the Guinness World Record for the country with the largest number of official languages. 

Albeit the main languages in Zimbabwe are English, Shona and Ndebele, the minor languages are Chewa, Chibarwe, Kalanga, Koisan, Kunda, Lozi, Manyika, Nambya, Ndau, Nsenga, Tsonga-Shangani, Sotho, Tjwao, Tonga, Tswa, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa.


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